Chef Christine Cikowski and Jayda Dotson
Honey Butter Fried Chicken
3361 N. Elston Avenue
Step Up Women’s Network
7th Annual Shine and Dine
Thursday, August 10
6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Revel Fulton Market
1215 West Fulton Market
Honey Butter Fried Chicken – adapted for home cooks
1/3 cup coarse kosher salt, preferably Diamond Crystal
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon chile flake
2 quarts water
peel of one Lemon
peel of one Orange
Combine above ingredients in a large pot and heat over medium heat and stir until sugar and salt dissolves. Cool the brine completely.
2 boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 boneless, skin-on split breasts, cut in half cross-wise
chicken brine to cover
To cut the chicken and brine the chicken: Place the chicken pieces in brine for 8 – 12 hours. Remove from the brine and dry excess moisture with a paper towels.
Chicken Dredge Flour
1 bag Honey Butter Fried Chicken Flour mix (available at Honey Butter Fried Chicken)
To batter and fry the chicken:
1 quart buttermilk
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika (pimenton)
brined chicken strips
honey butter fried chicken flour mix
Fryer oil: canola, rice bran, or peanut oil to fill a sturdy, high-sided pot with four inches of oil
To batter the chicken: place the chicken dredge flour mix in a wide container. Pour the buttermilk into a second container. Batter each piece of chicken one at a time. Submerge the chicken first in buttermilk. Lift the chicken out of the buttermilk, and let drip slightly, and place into chicken dredge flour container and coat the chicken again. Be careful to ensure that the chicken is evenly and fully coated, but do not let the coating become too thick. Place the battered chicken onto a plate and proceed with battering the remaining chicken.
To fry the chicken: preheat your oil over medium heat. Using a probe or oil thermometer, carefully bring oil to 340 degrees F. If your pot is small, fry the chicken in batches. If you place too much chicken into the oil, the temperature will drop too much and the chicken will become greasy. Place the chicken gently into the hot oil – the temperature will drop. Carefully adjust the heat to keep the oil at a constant 315-320 degrees F. Fry the chicken until each piece reads at least 165 degrees F at it’s thickest point. When the chicken is cooked, remove carefully from the oil and place on a wire rack over a cookie sheet or on paper towels.
Dust the top side of the just fried chicken with a sprinkle of salt and a sprinkle of smoked paprika. Let rest for one minute, flip the chicken and dust the other side with salt and smoked paprika.
Pimento Mac ‘N Cheese
1/2 pound sharp cheddar cheese spread
1 1/2 ounces buttermilk
1/3 cup pimento peppers – pureed and strained
Kosher salt and pepper
Warm the cheese and buttermilk over medium heat just until cheese melts into the buttermilk. Whisk cheese sauce and pimento puree and mix occasionally until the ingredients are well incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Compile tortilla chips on a serving plate. Chop fried chicken into 1-inch pieces and generously place on top of tortilla chips, ensuring all areas of the plate are covered. Gently pour pimento cheese sauce over nachos. Top nachos with your choice of salsa. Add small dollops of sour cream on tortilla chips. Dice tomato and place on top of tortilla chips, fried chicken, and sour cream. Squeeze lime over the plate of nachos and top with cilantro before serving.
Recipes By Joshua Kulp and Christine Cikowski, Executive Chefs of Honey Butter Fried Chicken in Chicago, Illinois